Advances in genetic engineering have opened the door to novel vaccines capable of transmitting among individuals. We are currently developing mathematical and computational tools to guide the design and deployment of these revolutionary new vaccines. Through global collaborations, we are evaluating the likely efficacy of transmissible vaccines targeting Ebola and Lassa fever.
FORECASTING SPILLOVER AND EMERGENCE
As contact between human and wild animal reservoir populations increases, so to does the risk that infectious diseases will spillover into the human population. Our work in this area is focused on forecasting spillover of Lassa fever from its natural reservoir, Mastomys natalensis, into the human population within Sierra Leone and Guinea. Our interactive web server allows historical patterns of infection and forecasts for future risk across West Africa to be viewed here: https://preemptlassawestafrica.ibest.uidaho.edu/
How important are evolutionary interactions among species to biodiversity and community structure and function? We are working to answer this question by developing a suite of mathematical and computational tools that estimate the strength of coevolution within metapopulations, communities, and ecosystems using routinely collected data.